According to the USDA, between 30-40 percent of our food supply gets wasted, ending up in the trash. Discarded food takes up more space in our landfills than any other category of waste. One alternative for homeowners, especially those with gardens, is to compost food waste instead of throwing it in the trash. But that’s usually a slow process, requiring a kitchen bin that tends to attract fruit flies or a backyard bin that needs to be mixed on a regular basis, and usable compost takes weeks or longer to form. Whirlpool aims to change all of that with the Zera Food Recycler.
The Whirlpool Zera is a revolutionary new product from the company’s innovation incubator, WLabs, that drastically cuts down on the time and effort needed to create usable compost from ordinary kitchen scraps. Standing a bit taller than a typical kitchen garbage can and about twice as wide, and sporting a sleek appearance that belies its function, the Zera is meant to be placed right up next to your countertop. A sliding lid reveals the opening to the receptacle where food is deposited. Users simply dump their food scraps into the Zera and let the machine do its magic. Within 24 hours, up to a week’s worth of food can be broken down into ready-to-use fertilizer.
The Whirlpool Zera food recycler uses only heat, moisture, and a plant-based additive to create chemical-free, nutrient-rich fertilizer that’s the perfect addition to any home garden, or even just sprinkled around the lawn. It’s designed to require minimal maintenance—other than adding the Zera additive—and won’t attract pests or other wildlife like an open compost bin would. Initial sales of the Zera will be through the ongoing Indiegogo campaign, which greatly exceeded its initial goal. Retail sales of the Whirlpool Zera will begin this summer in limited test markets, and Abt is one of the few places in the country where you’ll be able to get it. Further news of the Zera’s availability will be posted as we get closer to the release date.